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The Insider Pick:
No matter how many people are in your household, you need to have a thermometer on hand because everyone, at some point, will get sick. A reliable thermometer is a must-have for assessing just how ill a person is and the iProvèn Thermometer is the best one you can buy because it has two temperature reading functions that guarantee a quick, accurate reading.
The ability to quickly and accurately determine a person’s body temperature is imperative for assessing their condition during an illness, after an injury, or in the event of exposure to inclement conditions. Whether you’re dealing with a temperamental toddler, a non-responsive accident victim, or anyone in between, when you are trying to determine what is wrong with a person and to gauge the severity of the issue, you need to use a thermometer as part of your diagnostic process.
And don’t worry: The temperature-reading part of said diagnostic process is remarkably easy thanks to modern thermometers. Gone are the days of sticking a mercury thermometer under the tongue and waiting for five minutes, only to hold the slender glass cylinder up near a light and twist it back and forth in a vain attempt to spot the little strip of risen liquid and figure out what number it’s at.
The thermometers in our guide get readings in a host of different ways — from quick ear insertions to use of the underarm to no-touch remote readings taken from the brow — but they all get results fast and with minimal chance of error.
If you have a newborn, we have a few great thermometer options for new parents. If you’re a paramedic (or an office manager) planning ahead for first aid treatment that might involve multiple people in tough circumstances, we’ve got a great thermometer for you, too. And for the rest of us, who just want to know what if we have a fever, we have plenty of choices for you, too.
Read on in the slides below to learn why the iProvèn Medical Ear Thermometer is our top pick and why you might also like the Equinox International Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer, the Braun ThermoScan5 Digital Ear Thermometer, the ANKOVO Medical Digital Thermometer, and the First Aid Only Pac-Kit Disposable Thermometers.
The best thermometer overall
Why you’ll love it: The iProvèn Medical Ear Thermometer also has a forehead infrared sensor, so it’s ideal for cross-referencing measurements to get accurate temperature readings.
The iProvèn Medical Ear Thermometer is the most expensive thermometer in our guide, but it really is an ideal choice for most homes.
What makes this a good thermometer? First, it’s remarkably easy to use. You operate the thermometer with a single press of a button, and readings are quickly displayed on a large, clear LCD screen. Second, the thermometer can take readings in two ways. And finally, an automatic fever alarm takes the guesswork out of the equation.
The first method for attaining a temperature with this thermometer is to use its ear canal probe. You gently insert the ear probe, press the Ear button, and get your reading. To use the infrared forehead sensor, you pop on the infrared lens attachment, press the Head button, then either gently drag the sensor across the forehead or lightly tap it to several spots on the brow.
Using the ear probe will get you the most accurate results in the most efficient manner possible, but might not always be a viable method of getting a reading. While the infrared sensor requires leaving the thermometer in the room where it will be used for about a half hour prior to a measurement (this ensures it is at the room’s temperature and thus can accurately determine body heat as a contrast), gently resting the sensor again the head of a resting (or slumbering) patient will be minimally invasive and is an ideal option with babies.
With more than 3,600 reviews posted on Amazon, this thermometer still gets a better than four-star average rating. One parent says the iProvèn Medical Ear Thermometer was “worth every penny” and “great to use for a sick baby.” An owner named Gary said the thermometer made it “so easy to get a quick accurate reading.”
The product review team from Wiki.Ezvid noted the “user-friendly design” of the iProvèn Medical Ear Thermometer, while a writer with ParentsNeed called the unit’s fever alarm a great help in determining “if your little one is sick.”
Pros: Dual measurement functions, easy operation, automatic fever alarm
Cons: Infrared sensor requires 30-minute calibration
The best non-contact thermometer
Why you’ll love it: The Equinox International Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer can take body, surface, and ambient temperature readings all without ever touching the object.
Ironically, the Equinox International Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer is ideal for use with two types of people in your life who couldn’t be much more different than one another. The first is your very own precious child, and the second is a total stranger. That’s because this is a completely non-touch tool.
Thus it’s ideal for leaving a sleeping baby undisturbed or for taking the temperature of someone for whom you wish to care but whom you don’t necessarily want to touch, due to the risk of contaminating your diagnostic equipment.
For use in taking a person’s temperature, the Equinox International Non Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer must simply be held an inch or so away from the forehead for about one second. It will then display the temperature over a green background if the reading is nominal or over a red background if fever is detected.
In both cases, the information is recovered without disturbing the patient. The device records more than 30 past readings, so you can track the progress of an illness over time.
But this thermometer is also notable as a tool for recording temperatures outside of the body. It can be used to check ambient room temperature, which is important for keeping people safe and comfortable, and it can also test the surface temperature of things such as food and beverages, which is important for child safety or simply for dining pleasure.
After more than 250 ratings, the Equinox International Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer has a solid 4.4 out of five-star score. A buyer who happens to be a nurse called it “very accurate,” while a dad named Carl loved that a “baby doesn’t have to be awake” during use.
A MedConsumers write up called this Equinox International thermometer an “excellent” tool that provides results “in less than a second” and noted that it is accurate to within 0.3 degrees.
Pros: No contact needed for use, also records surface and ambient temps, stores multiple past readings
Cons: Occasional inconsistent readings
The best ear thermometer
Why you’ll love it: What the Braun ThermoScan5 Digital Ear Thermometer lacks in a wide range of functions, it makes up for in accuracy and reliability.
If you just want an exceptionally good thermometer that’s easy to use, reliable, and will last for years, then the Braun ThemoScan5 Digital Ear Thermometer is the one for you.
This is one of the most basic digital ear thermometers out there, yet it’s also the second most expensive one on our list. Why? Because this thermometer is reliable, accurate, and built to last for years. Thanks to that accuracy and durability, it’s a number one pick for use in pediatrician’s offices and is the go-to choice for families all around the nation and beyond.
Part of the reason this device is so accurate is the pre-warmed tip, a feature that not only helps with precise measurements but that also makes the experience of having a temperature taken less unpleasant for the patient. The thermometer also emits a beep and lights up once good ear placement is achieved, so you know the measurement recorded is as accurate as possible.
Because the Braun ThemoScan5 Digital Ear Thermometer uses disposable ear probes, you can minimize the chance of spreading germs from one person to the next. This thermometer only has a single memory function and only takes temperatures in one manner, but it’s easy to use, reliable, and will last and last.
This digital thermometer is a favorite with thousands of families. One owner named James loves how easy it is to toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit, as he and his wife understand the two systems better, respectively. A mom named Cathlene praised it as “always ready … whenever needed” by her family members.
A ConsumerSearch review called it a “top pick” thanks to the pre-warmed tip and quick results. In its review, ViveHealth said the Braun ThermoScan5 provided “higher levels of accuracy” than many competitors.
Pros: Excellent accuracy, lasts for years, replaceable covers limit germ spreading
Cons: Screen is not backlit
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